Chameleon

Chameleons room a bizarre and colorful example of a heterotroph, an organism the consumes other animals or plants – prefer this unfortunately cricket – come sustain itself.

You are watching: An organism that obtains energy by feeding on other organisms

Photograph by kuritafsheen


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A heterotroph is one organism the eats other plants or pets for energy and nutrients. The hatchet stems from the Greek native hetero because that “other” and trophe for “nourishment.”

Organisms are defined into two broad categories based upon how they acquire their energy and nutrients: autotrophs and also heterotrophs. Autotrophs are known as producers since they space able to do their own food from life materials and also energy. Examples incorporate plants, algae, and some species of bacteria. Heterotrophs are known as consumers due to the fact that they consume producer or other consumers. Dogs, birds, fish, and also humans space all instances of heterotrophs.

Heterotrophs occupy the second and third levels in a food chain, a sequence of organisms that administer energy and also nutrients for various other organisms. Every food chain consists of three trophic levels, which describe an organism’s duty in one ecosystem. Occupying the first trophic level space autotrophs, such as plants and algae. Herbivores—organisms the eat plants—occupy the 2nd level. Carnivores (organisms that eat meat) and omnivores (organisms that eat plants and also meat) accounting the third level. Both major (herbivores) and second (carnivores and also omnivores) consumers are heterotrophs, while major producers space autotrophs.

A third type of heterotrophic customer is a detritivore. These organisms acquire food through feeding top top the continues to be of plants and animals as well as fecal matter. Detritivores play an essential role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem by recycling waste. Instances of detritivores include fungi, worms, and insects.

There are two subcategories of heterotrophs: photoheterotrophs and also chemoheterotrophs. Photoheterotrophs space organisms that obtain their power from light, however must quiet consume carbon from various other organisms, together they cannot use carbon dioxide native the air. Chemoheterotrophs, by contrast, obtain both their energy and also carbon from other organisms.

A major difference in between autotrophs and heterotrophs is that the former are maybe to do their own food by photosynthesis vice versa, the last cannot. Photosynthesis is a procedure that entails making glucose (a sugar) and oxygen native water and also carbon dioxide using power from sunlight. Autotrophs room able to manufacture power from the sun, but heterotrophs have to rely on various other organisms because that energy.

Another major difference in between autotrophs and also heterotrophs is the autotrophs have an important pigment referred to as chlorophyll, which enables them to capture the power of sunlight during photosynthesis, vice versa, heterotrophs carry out not. There is no this pigment, photosynthesis could not occur.

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Heterotrophs advantage from photosynthesis in a selection of ways. They depend on the process for oxygen, i beg your pardon is developed as a byproduct throughout photosynthesis. Moreover, photosynthesis sustains the autotrophs that heterotrophs depend on come survive. If meat-eating carnivores may not directly depend on photosynthetic tree to survive, they perform depend on other pets that consume photosynthesis plants as a food source.